Hampstead keep hopes alive with thrilling win
- Credit: Archant
Hampstead & Westminster host Beeston at Paddington Rec on Saturday, still hoping to break into the top four of the Men’s League Premier Division after a stunning comeback win over Surbiton.
Player-coach Kwan Browne put them ahead against the leaders from the penalty spot, but Surbiton hit back with a quickfire brace to go 2-1 up.
Top scorer Matt Guise-Brown got Hampstead back on terms before the interval with a trademark penalty corner finish and the second half proved a thrilling end-to-end affair.
League leading scorer Matt Forsyth struck twice to put Surbiton 4-2 up and seemingly on the way to all three points with 17 minutes left.
But Hampstead dug deep, despite being faced by an inspired keeper, and Mikie Watt hit the crossbar.
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With five minutes left, Hampstead removed keeper Jamie Legg for an extra outfield player and Browne converted his second penalty to cut the gap to one.
Guise-Brown then netted a rare open-play goal to level with two minutes left and completed his hat-trick with a corner strike from the top of the D in the final minute to send the home crowd wild.
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Victory leaves Hampstead four points behind Reading and Wimbledon in the race for a top-four spot, with only three games left.
But three more wins, and a bit of luck elsewhere, might be enough for them to achieve their goal.
Hampstead & Westminster women need just four points to secure the East Conference title after beating Harleston Magpies 5-0 in Norfolk last weekend.
Kate McCaw put the leaders in front with her first goal of the season on 23 minutes and Hampstead produced some excellent passing in the second half.
Amy Askew netted a rebound for the second goal, before McCaw doubled her total for the season after some good build-up play.
A short corner deflection by Askew made it 4-0, with Mel Wilkinson firing home a stunning reverse stick shot to complete the nap hand.
Hampstead travel to St Albans on Saturday for the first part of a weekend double-header as they then play host to Sevenoaks on Sunday.
And with a six-point cushion at the top of the table, they know a win and a draw will be enough to secure the title and a place in the play-offs with a chance of moving up to the Premier Division for 2018/19.